Tales from the Crypt: Arachnus

  • Esquire

    The woods were silent as Randall walked through them, bow in hand, on the hunt for any game that he could bring home for himself and his family. The further he went, the more he went on alert, becoming hyper-aware of the sounds his footsteps made on the dried leaves and other debris scattered across the forest floor. He couldn’t hear any small animals scampering through the undergrowth, and while he could hear the chirps of a few birds high up in the trees, there was far less than what he was used to. While he couldn’t actually see anything out of place or unnatural, he couldn’t shake the feeling that something was very, very, wrong.

    But still, he pressed on, making his way through the trees and dense foliage. He was determined not to head home until he had hunted something down, as what he would catch would be the dinner for his family for the next several days, he wasn’t about to let them down. Suddenly, while passing underneath a tree, he felt something hit and stick to his face, and reaching up he pulled off what appeared to be a bit spider’s webbing. “Eugh, gross,” he muttered to himself, as he shook the sticky threads off his hand.

    After several more minutes of walking, he heard some faint rustling in the foliage behind him. ‘Finally, a deer,’ he thought to himself, ‘took long enough.’ Very quickly, though, he realized that it was something else as it sounded much larger than a deer and was very quickly closing in on him. Whipping around, he found himself face-to-face with a gigantic spider easily as large as him, if not bigger. Before he could react it bore down on him, sinking its fangs into the flesh above his clavicle, and with a brief yelp of pain, he fell limp. As he hit the ground and felt himself begin to be dragged by the spider, he realized that he couldn’t move, he couldn’t even yell out, his mouth refusing to cooperate. All he could do watch as he was brought to what he felt was his certain demise.

    Soon he saw the entrance to a cave, covered in thick layers of webbing, this thing’s nest. He saw bones displayed everywhere from varying creatures, from the forest’s wildlife and other humans, and he even thought he saw the bones of a Heavy Draft. As the panic began to set in, he began to hyperventilate as he realized that his own bones would probably be amongst those soon enough. He desperately tried to move, scream, do anything, he didn’t want to die, not here, not now.

    He felt himself come to a stop on the cold, stone floor of the cave, and seconds later heard his pants being ripped and felt searing pain as the spider ripped the flesh off his bones. The pain was unbearable and he desperately wanted to scream, but still no sound came, and all he could was lay there as hot tears of agony streamed from his eyes. After a short while, the pain became too great to bear, and he passed out.

    He was unaware of how long he was in that cave, constantly drifting in and out consciousness, feeling the pain creep further and further up his legs, and feeling nothing below that. Eventually, he awoke and found that the pain, while still ever present, didn’t seem to be higher, and looking he saw the unmoving form of the monstrous spider and, standing over it, a figure clad in ornate armor seemingly glowing with magic, a Knight Valiant. He tried to reach out and beg for help, but he found that he was paralyzed and unable to do anything. The Knight Valiant, seemingly catching a glimpse of him and realizing that he was still alive, made his way over. The knight, just taking one quick glance over his body, drew his sword and, without any hesitation or remorse, drove it into Randall’s skull. There was nothing left.

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